POSTED: 30 JUNE 2008 - 4:00pm EST

Hawaii BioEnergy Advances To DARPA

image above: Part of the masthead of, a partner in Hawaii BioEnergy

by Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. on 22 May 2008

Company is Partner in Two Winning Proposals to Develop Jet Fuel from Algae
Hawaii BioEnergy, LLC ( today announced that the company will advance to the award consideration phase for two proposals submitted by partners, SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) and General Atomics to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the development of a process to efficiently produce petroleum-based military jet fuel (JP-8) from oil-rich crops produced by agriculture of aquaculture.

[Editor's Note: The board of Hawaii Bio Energy is chaired by David Cole, a board member of The Superferry Corporation, Maui Land & Pineapple, Hawaiian Electric Company, Grove Farms and other companies.]

The announcement was made by Hawaii BioEnergy chairman, David C. Cole, during his keynote address to the Kickoff Meeting for the Development of Hawaii’s Bioenergy Master Plan at the State Capitol Auditorium. “By nature’s design our island archipelago is the most remote on earth,” said Cole. “Yet, at the same time we are endowed with the ingredients to become the world’s leading example of efficient, clean and green energy.”

In July of 2006, DARPA’s Advanced Technology Office solicited proposals for research and development efforts to produce a biofuel for military applications that can become an affordable alternative to petroleum-derived JP-8 jet fuel. The research anticipated by the winning proposals will take place within the Hawaiian Islands through a pilot program estimated to take about three years.

Hawaii BioEnergy, LLC was formed in spring of 2006 by three of Hawai`i’s largest landowners – Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. (MLP), Kamahameha Schools and Grove Farm – who came together in an innovative alliance to identify and develop new sources of renewable energy for Hawai`i.

Other consortium partners include Finistere Ventures, a leading life sciences venture capital firm based in San Diego, California, the Menlo Park-based firm, Khosla Ventures which offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs, and ‘Ohana Holdings, LLC, an investment firm based in Hanalei, Hawai‘i. For more information, please visit and

Hawai`i BioEnergy
Teri Freitas Gorman, 808-877-3857 or 808-357-2547
Bennet Strategic Communications
Joan Bennet, 808-531-6087 ext 101

In July 2006, Grove Farm Co., Maui Land & Pineapple Co. and Kamehameha Schools, some of the state’s largest landowners, announced the formation of Hawaii BioEnergy, LLC to research the viability of a large-scale biofuels industry in Hawaii.

On June 3, 2008 the Hanamaulu Neighbor Association was given a briefing on the development plans by Hawaii BioEnergy for a project near our neighborhood.
This algae-to-biodiesel project is to be mainly focused on native marine algae strains cultivated in bioreactors (vessels in which biochemical processes are carried out). Only the last step in the growing process will be in open ponds.

This last step was termed the starvation stage that would use stress for increased yields. The development plans are to be done in three stages. The first stage plant was projected to occupy one to five acres. The second stage would occupy 50 acres and the third stage could need thousands of acres. The first two stages would be used to determine if their production technology is commercially-viable.

Algae produced biodiesel has a potential energy yield many times higher than that of oil palm. An average acre of algae is projected to yield 10.000 gallons of biodiesel each year. Algae need only sunlight, water, nutrients, and carbon dioxide to grow, have extremely fast growth rates, and they project that the algae will yeild 40 percent oil.

Although many unanswered questions remain, the prospects that algal fuel may provide a sustainable solution to reduce dependence on foreign oil and lower greenhouse gas emissions seem far greater than any other options at present.



POSTED: 30 JUNE 2008 - 2:00pm EST

Endless Energy from Algae Biofuel

  on algae based biofuel.

by Juan Wilson on 30 June 2008

This video was posted on without a date or source. Sounds a bit like a commercial to me. Here's all the "article" actually says in wruteen text:

Endless Energy from Algae Biofuel: Closed-Loop Photo Bioreactor from Valcent. Imagine 20,000 barrels of oil each year from one acre of land!

If this process works and is ramped up in scale I would want to know what are the waste products of this process?

If it doesn't work as advertised, what is the con? An nvestment come on?

Here's another advocate with an investment plan.

Investing in Algae Biofuel
The Plant That Could Solve all our Fuel Needs

30 June 2008 by Jeff Siegel, editor of Green Chip Stocks

Every drop of oil on earth comes from millions of years of buildup from algae and other natural residue... buried, compressed, and eventually drilled--supplying our energy since the late 1800s.

Now, consider that we're going to deplete, in less than 300 years, what took hundreds of millions of years to form. And with the inevitable global depletion of oil, alternative forms of energy are destined to emerge.

Algae, ironically, is one of them...

Research at leading universities suggests that algae could supply enough fuel to meet all of America's transportation needs in the form of biodiesel... using a scant 0.2% of the nation's land.

In fact, enough algae can be grown to replace all transportation fuels in the U.S. on only 15,000 square miles, or 4.5 million acres of land.

That's about the size of Maryland.

How is this all possible?
Technology exists right now to cultivate algae that can be used as fuel, using human and animal waste as fertilizer.

And that's why we're currently looking at a number of biofuel companies... some public, some soon to go public... that we at believe will capitalize in a big, big way on algae."

Green Chip Review is published by Angel Publishing
1012 Morton St, Baltimore, MD 21201


And finally, here's another take on the issue of algae based fuels.

Fuel from Algae
by Kevin Bullis on 22 Feb 2008 in

A startup's new process could make fuel from algae as cheap as petroleum. Solazyme, a startup based in South San Francisco, CA, has developed a new way to convert biomass into fuel using algae, and the method could lead to less expensive biofuels. The company recently demonstrated its algae-based fuel in a diesel car, and in January, it announced a development and testing agreement with Chevron. Late last year, the company received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a substitute for crude oil based on algae.

The new process combines genetically modified strains of algae with an uncommon approach to growing algae to reduce the cost of making fuel. Rather than growing algae in ponds or enclosed in plastic tubes that are exposed to the sun, as other companies are trying to do, Solazyme grows the organisms in the dark, inside huge stainless-steel containers. The company's researchers feed algae sugar, which the organisms then convert into various types of oil. The oil can be extracted and further processed to make a range of fuels, including diesel and jet fuel, as well as other products.

The company uses different strains of algae to produce different types of oil. Some algae produce triglycerides such as those produced by soybeans and other oil-rich crops. Others produce a mix of hydrocarbons similar to light crude petroleum.

Solazyme's method has advantages over other approaches that use microorganisms to convert sugars into fuel. The most common approaches use microorganisms such as yeast to ferment sugars, forming ethanol. The oils made by Solazyme's algae can then be used for a wider range of products than ethanol, says Harrison Dillon, the company's president and chief technology officer.

What's more, the algae has a particular advantage over many other microorganisms when it comes to processing sugars from cellulosic sources, such as grass and wood chips. Such cellulosic sources require less energy, land, and water to grow than corn grain, the primary source of biofuel in the United States. But when biomass is broken down into sugars, it still contains substances such as lignin that can poison other microorganisms. In most other processes, lignin has to be separated from the sugars to keep the microorganisms healthy. But the tolerance of the algae to lignin makes it possible to skip this step, which can reduce costs.

The process also has significant advantages over a quite different way of using algae to create biofuels--one that makes use of algae's ability to employ sunlight to produce their own supply of sugar, using photosynthesis. In these approaches, the algae are grown in ponds or bioreactors where they are exposed to sunlight and make their own sugar. In Solazyme's approach, the researchers deliberately turn off photosynthetic processes by keeping the algae in the dark. Instead of getting energy from sunlight, the algae get energy from the sugars that the researchers feed them.

Solazyme's process of growing the algae in the dark has a couple of advantages over approaches that use ponds or bioreactors. First, keeping the algae in the dark causes them to produce more oil than they do in the light. That's because while their photosynthetic processes are inactive, other metabolic processes that convert sugar into oil become active.

Just as important, feeding algae sugar makes it possible to grow them in concentrations that are orders of magnitude higher than when they're grown in ponds using energy from the sun, says Eric Jarvis, a biofuels researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, CO. (Jarvis is not connected to Solazyme.) That's in part because the sugar provides a concentrated source of energy. These higher concentrations reduce the amount of infrastructure needed to grow the algae, and also make it much easier to collect the algae and extract the oil, Jarvis says, significantly reducing costs. High capital costs have so far stymied other attempts to make fuel from algae.

In spite of these advantages over other approaches, Solazyme's method for creating fuel is not yet cheap enough to compete with fuels made from petroleum, Dillon says. Indeed, Jarvis warns that one of the most expensive parts of making fuels from cellulosic sources is processing them to create simple sugars, a part of the process that Solazyme isn't focused on improving. But in the past 18 months, improvements in the amount of oil that the algae produce have convinced the company that competitive costs are within reach. Solazyme hopes to begin selling its fuel in two to three years, Dillon says.


see also:
Island Breath: Jatropha a substitute for kerosene? 6/30/08
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Jatropha 9/8/07
Island Breath: Alternative Energy - Water/HHO  5/16/06